Meat Market made a new album, “Dig Deep”

The word "catchy" is weird - I think it describes an ability. A catchy song does something a non-catchy song can't? I call a song catchy, and that's usually the final frontier in so far as descriptors go. Like, more than anything, catchy feels like a way of saying, "I felt a quickness in compatibility with those sounds." But there's usually not much more to say. It feels like the word is actually just signposting the most basic musical reflexes, reflexes so basic they're unnoticed and hard to describe other than: "I like when people drum like that," or "I like when people sing/talk/yell like that." Catchy [...]

By |April 28, 2016|Tags: |

Deerhunter at the Fillmore in words and pictures

Deerhunter (photo: Ian Young) The show started like this: the Fillmore chandeliers dimmed from yellow to a dark glass color, the room now dark, and a recording of Bradford Cox reading Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell came over the speakers. Everyone besides Cox, the singer of Deerhunter, walked on the stage and slipped into a semblance of a song while his voice continued reading the poem, his body still unseen, reading about demons, visions, salvation, heaven and hell. The recording accumulated delay, his recorded voice bouncing back and forth, repeating itself and filling up, until it stopped and he appeared on stage, singing the [...]

By |April 20, 2016|

The Herms return with “Welcome All Tourists”

The Herms have been at it for a while, long enough to say Welcome All Tourists is their first release in three years, and the first release for Narnack Records in four years. The band formed in the UC Berkeley co-ops, and lived in the Bay until 2014 when they moved to Los Angeles. Their new album plays with genre like a ragdoll — surf, punk, and western all in one breath — and strangely, this waning affect for one genre and one genre only solidifies them as a rock and roll band, in my mind. Their willingness to venture from a"homebase sound," or their [...]

By |April 8, 2016|Tags: |

Wild Moth release “Buried” video

  Wild Moth. Photo: Anna Capurso Stop-motion implies a process. It's hard to watch anything stop-motion and not spin off into thinking about how tedious it probably felt to make. Take a picture, move the things, take a picture, move the things. But, because Wild Moth's "Buried" video is actually a bunch of pictures, it's also kind of impossible to tell how long it took to make. Or maybe this is a better way of putting it: The claymation-video-dreamscape has a sense of time that's freed from the actual length of the video. If the fluidity of film is for watching, it almost feels [...]

By |April 6, 2016|Tags: |

Miserable on the verge of releasing first LP “Uncontrollable”

In what I think is the prettiest and saddest part of Miserable’s song “Oven,” the first single off her forthcoming LP Uncontrollable, Kristina Esfandiari sings “I shouldn’t be ashamed to feel this strange, I know that you used to love me," and with that line the otherwise sad song flashes a quick smile. Something about this emotional traversing, the distance between the song’s lyrical sadness and its eventually-beautiful melody, seems so essential for coping with loss. The song’s range of emotional articulation, the way it makes one feeling from its opposite, feels like its only help. Miserable is Esfandiari’s solo project, [...]

By |April 5, 2016|Tags: |

Premiere: Golden Drugs ready ‘Sugar Water’

The first time I saw Golden Drugs was a year or so ago. At the time I thought they were a loud band — so loud that it felt like it was the only way to understand them; like the Golden Drugs universe spoke, read, and dealt in loudness and loudness only. “Performing is an ecstatic experience,” Tyler says. “Practicing is awesome, because we get in the zone and it's one way to get wrapped up in it. But playing live is different, the energy of the whole thing, us playing and feeding off everybody else, I don't know, I [...]

By |March 21, 2016|Tags: |

cadet servante sees March through

cadet servante is writing a song for each of March’s 31 days, not about the days, or even necessarily about her days, she’s just writing a new song 31 days in a row. Karli Helm has been recording songs as cadet servante for a couple months, a solo and side project to Plush. The songs she’s recording are short — one to two minutes — and usually recorded at the end of the day. It's a quick turnaround, and it's an even quicker listen, but the 16 or so minutes she's recorded thus far are a interesting musical window into [...]

By |March 15, 2016|Tags: |

Cellar Doors release 7″, play Levitation

The word "psychedelic"'s two parts are one way to map out the genre: psyche-, describing the kind of cerebral, thought or dream-like tendencies, and -delic (to make clear or visible) maybe describing the kind of euphoric, revelatory tendencies of the genre. Cellar Doors play a fast, anxiety-ridden brand of rock that scraps the airy, billowing wonder of psychedelia and favors a nervous fervor. The San Francisco band released the Frost/Prism 7" last week on Santa Cruz label Spiritual Pajamas. "Frost" and "Prism" drive smooth in their strobe-like bass lines — a real determined strut, with the sort of temperament you look for in seven-minute disco songs. It's not the [...]

By |March 7, 2016|Tags: |

Checking in with Hot Flash Heat Wave

Photo credit: Luke Lasley Hot Flash Heat Wave remind me of sweets. Specifically the sweets Theibaud has been painting since the sixties. There's a degree of play at hand in the band's sound and the painter's paintings — tactile and sugary. They're animate via their breeziness. What I like most about Hot Flash Heat Wave are the moments their shininess is contextualized with something a little colder, more piercing. I'm thinking about the part two minutes into "Hesitation," and the way guitar slices clean through the otherwise glassy song. Or how the chorus in "Tastes Good" feels like the pleading, sadder maturation to [...]

By |January 28, 2016|Tags: |

Meet Wave Dweller, San Francisco’s newest record label

Scott McDowell, Lizzy Schliessmann and Fil Cala are Wave Dweller (from left) Lizzy Schliessmann and Fil Cala first crossed paths as students during a show at the Depot, a venue tucked into a corner of San Francisco State University. Lizzy was working there, booking shows and meeting bands, while Fil's project — Future Shapes — was taking, uh, form as one of said bands. After independently orbiting the localized scene for a bit, Fil and Lizzy started tossing around ideas, and it wasn't long before they threw their first show as Wave Dweller, with Never Young at the Elbo Room. In the next several months Wave Dweller put on a [...]

By |January 4, 2016|Tags: |
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